Liverpool face West Ham tonight for the first time this season and Rafa’s picked a strong side for a match the Reds are desperate to win after a run of league draws.
Pepe Reina is back in goal after Charles Itandje was allowed a chance against Havant on Saturday, and Jamie Carragher comes in for Martin Skrtel who’s back on the bench. Fabio Aurelio returns at left-back, Finnan stays in the side at right-back.
Javier Mascherono is banned for this match and so Rafa has recalled Xabi Alonso. Liverpool’s opening scorer Lucas has dropped back to the bench in place of captain Steven Gerrard. Hat-trick scorer Yossi Benayoun retains his place, to his delight as it’s against his former club. Harry Kewell comes in on the left-side of midfield. Up front Rafa has given Dirk Kuyt a chance in place of Peter Crouch who did very little on Saturday to convince the boss to give him another start, even though he did score. Top scorer Fernando Torres is also back in the attack.
West Ham: 1 Green, 2 Neill, 5 Ferdinand, 6 Upson, 3 McCartney, 7 Ljungberg, 16 Noble, 17 Mullins, 29 Bowyer, 34 Boa Morte, 12 Cole
Subs: 21 Wright, 9 Ashton, 11 Etherington, 15 Solano, 18 Spector
Liverpool: 25 Reina, 3 Finnan, 23 Carragher, 4 Hyypia, 12 Aurelio, 11 Benayoun, 8 Gerrard, 14 Alonso, 7 Kewell, 9 Torres, 18 Kuyt
Subs: 30 Itandje, 15 Crouch, 19 Babel, 21 Lucas, 37 Skrtel
Referee: Alan Wiley